Porsche's 'Giant-killing' Spyder
The Porsche 550 Spyder left an indelible imprint on the motorsports world during the 1950s. It was Porsche’s first purpose-built race car, and it immediately made its presence known on the international stage by winning its class at Le Mans in 1955 and taking first overall at the 1956 Targa Florio. It convincingly defeated, with regularity, cars of much higher displacement and class designation, earning it the moniker of 'giant-killer.' The 550 was followed up by the 550A, an evolved version that first appeared in 1956. It incorporated a series of significant changes, including a tubular space frame to replace the ladder frame for increased structural rigidity, a 5-speed transmission to replace the previous 4-speed unit, and 15-inch wheels with wider offset that stood in place of the 16-inch wheels, thus providing both a lower centre of gravity as well as an increased contact patch area.
The Porsche 550A-0141 Spyder featured here captured multiple podium finishes during its maiden 1958 season with driver Ernst Vogel. One of a mere 39 examples built, the 550A-0141 Spyder is one of the last to leave Porsche RennWerks. The Spyder would depart Porsche in March of 1958 and be delivered to Salzburg, Austria — a mere 80 miles away from the first Porsche Factory in Gmünd. Vogel would race to an impressive first overall in Yugoslavia and first-in-class at both Zeltweg and Innsbruck in Austria in only five starts during that year.
Mecum Auctions will be offering this very special 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder at their upcoming Monterey auction between the 23rd-25th August. Its estimated value is $4.5m - $5m. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions.